I've been talking about it for awhile now, so I thought I would show you all a few pictures I took yesterday of my new office space. It looks nice, clean, neat, and colorful, but remember that looks can be very deceiving.
This is our little cubicle. Four of us sit here. My seat is to the right. Notice how we are out in the open. The hallway and group rooms are right in front of this opening, and clients are continuously back and forth, and leaning over the little walls to interrupt us and chat.
There is another cubicle right next to ours where three other counselors sit. They have it worse than us. They have a hall on both sides...constant interruptions.
This is one of the wee little group rooms. Fifteen clients plus group facilitator sit in here. Hot and claustrophobic.
This is my little area of the make-shift desk. Some of my little guys came with me. Not much room for them. The flower sings and dances. The frog sings 'Jeremiah Was a Bullfrog.' The shell was a gift from a client and often I pick it up to hear the sounds of the ocean. All the wires make it look kind of sloppy, but I've done my best to make it at least a little cheerful.
I saw four clients in individual sessions yesterday and didn't really have a problem finding a private room to meet. We have two swing offices, the nurse's office, and group rooms when not in use. I think the worst of it is the never-ending noise. There is NEVER a silent moment. We hear everyone's conversations, phones are constantly ringing. Our clients leave at 1 pm, but the mental health day treatment program is located on the same floor, right next door, so even after our clients leave, we still have those clients wandering about, conveniently getting lost so they can see what's going on on our side.
The elevator is from 'hell'...an old freight elevator that has seen better days. I say a little prayer each time I enter it. Yesterday, it kept getting stuck about two feet from the exit doors, and people had to climb out of it. They say it has been inspected and is not about to crash, but, in any case, I was really thankful that the elevator girl offered me her seat because somehow, it was easier to handle in a seated position.
And finally, can you believe $1.75 for a small bottle of water? I nearly fell off my chair when I heard that one. This is such an expensive neighborhood that I just know I will be losing some weight. It just goes to show you that, no matter how bad a situation may seem, there is always some good to find in it.